Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa Begins Return Trip Back to Earth; Scheduled to Land off Coast of Florida Tonight, Japan Time

Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, front row, right, speaks at the ceremony before returning trip held at the ISS on January 10 (U.S. time).

Four astronauts from Japan, the U.S., Europe and Russia, including Satoshi Furukawa, 59, who had been on a long-term mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) since last August, began their return trip to Earth at 11:20 a.m. on Monday (0:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Japan time) aboard the Crew Dragon, a U.S. commercial spacecraft.

Crew Dragon is scheduled to land off the coast of Florida, U.S., on Tuesday morning (Tuesday night in Japan time).

During his stay on the ISS, Furukawa demonstrated water recycling technology and conducted scientific experiments with an eye toward future lunar exploration.